Reports and Plans
The CNC Service Plan is made up the following five components:
At the centre of the province, the College of New Caledonia plays a crucial role in community and regional sustainability and health, particularly in an area that is struggling with diversification and difficult economic realities.
With 3,390 full-time and 2,390 part-time students annually across the five major and multiple smaller campuses, CNC’s focus is quality instruction and services to support our communities and student populations. Our Strategic Plan (2002 – 2006) and linked Educational Plan (2002 – 2006) reflect our commitment to remaining a comprehensive community college, while addressing emergent opportunities, government priorities, and accountability targets, all within available resources.
CNC’s Strategic Plan provides four specific directions for focus and growth:
- To continue to foster and develop a learning centred environment
- To strengthen and broaden student recruitment and retention processes to increase enrolments
- To align and direct human, physical, financial and technological resources to strategic directions
- To ensure information management systems are secure, accessible, accurate and reliable
- To foster positive relationships among all members of the CNC community, building on shared goals and mutual respect
The Strategic Plan identifies key results and measurable outcomes for each direction. The linked Education Plan outlines specific “key result areas”, as well as measures of success. This supports facility and education service planning, as well as planning for current and emerging programs.
Issues and factors influencing planning:
- Economic conditions will remain volatile in north-central BC. The softwood lumber agreement and the pine beetle infestations in particular have caused upheaval and uncertainty in the entire forest sector. Forestry continues to be the largest economic generator in the region
- The region’s population is expected to remain stable or decrease slightly over the next five years
- An increasing number of Aboriginal students (youth and adult) will successfully move from high school into post-secondary education over the next five years, in part due to the collaborative work of CNC and regional school districts over the past five years, supporting school completion and transitions to adult basic education and/or career education
- Labour demand will change to grow as retirements come into play over the next five years. Many of the large employers (primarily resource based and government) will lose substantial numbers of managers and employees in the region, at the same time as other regions also require new hires to offset an aging population. Attracting and retaining skilled workers in a competitive environment is a major concern for the region, and the province. Non-metropolitan communities remain the economic driver of the province, and their sustainability is critical for the health of BC. These regions will remain the primary engine of growth for the province. On a per-capita basis, for example, the average annual international export from BC is pegged at $8,659 per capita. The average originating in non-metropolitan areas is $14,290 per person, while that originating in metropolitan areas is only $4,278 per person, half of the provincial average. Non-metropolitan regions must maintain and support a population sufficient to meet employer and community needs. The College must be responsive to changing student and employer needs for educational access and completion, as students training in the north are more likely to remain in the north
- The region continues to attempt economic diversification, through a variety of means. The development of cluster groups in high tech, aviation and environmental services requires consistent support. The attempts to develop a stronger value-added wood sector have been challenged by lack of provincial support. Additional cluster work continues in forestry, retail, tourism, public sector and transportation
- The new “east-west” communication and planning between the provincial governments of British Columbia and Alberta should be beneficial to the region, as it is on the primary transportation route to the coast. As well, connections with other northern post-secondary institutions with many of the same needs and issues as CNC will be beneficial for partnerships and effective models of learning delivery.
- Over the next 10 years, oil and gas and mining will become stronger economic players in the north-central region. Increased exploration in the immediate region, as well as service and transportation opportunities through east-west and north-south corridors, will require skilled workers
- The College will continue to play a critical role in each of its communities, as a partner in economic and social development initiatives
Opportunities and challenges that influence planning
The College is well-poised to increase its already strong role as a community partner and leader in community, economic and social development within our region. Opportunities include:
- an increased commitment from industry, the College and both provincial and federal government to address industry training needs, including the June 2004 announcement of an improved trades training facility in Prince George;
- improved services to Aboriginal students, through increased emphasis on recruitment and retention through to successful completion of studies, and continued strengthening of regional partnerships with organizations and communities;
- expanding CNC’s excellent history of developing and maintaining strong partnerships with other public-sector education providers. Continuing this tradition will serve communities and students while marshalling resources effectively. This will include partnerships for applied degrees and two-plus-two degree completion options;
- changing resource structures, including the need to expand service industries for mining, and oil and gas activities;
- public/private partnerships to meet the evolving needs of the various communities in the region. Often demographics will sustain only short-term programming in a region – public/private partnerships make development and delivery feasible.
Challenges for the coming years include:
- the reality of demographics: large numbers of CNC staff will retire over the next few years. Developing and maintaining sufficient staff to meet community education needs is essential;
- the reality of demographics: the sheer size of the College region, coupled with a small population, make it challenging to meet emergent needs with cost-effective programming. Creative use of technology, coupled with flexible models of educational delivery are necessary to be competitive and provide services close to home;
- maintaining the CNC mandate as a comprehensive community college, serving a broad range of needs while also developing attractive, niche programs;
- technical trends are creating an increasing demand for workers with the skills and competencies to use new technologies; it will continue to be challenging to meet the this demand with limited resources;
- ensuring adequate resources to support the role of the College as comprehensive and community-based, and as a key economic and social development partner in our region.